Foley approves FY2020 budget, looks to continue highway improvements

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FOLEY - Coming out of one fiscal year and into the start of another, the City of Foley is looking to be in good shape.

“During the last month of FY2019, the city was approximately a million dollars over our budgeted sales tax,” said City Administrator Mike Thompson. “We’d hit lodging tax revenue by the eleventh month, as well as our rental tax revenue, so the final month in both of those just made it that much better. The only local tax that we’re having a bit of trouble hitting our budget on is gas tax … In general our tax numbers look really good, we’re closing the year strong and hopefully the trend will continue through next year.”

But what does the budget look like as we go into fiscal year 2020, which will last from Oct. 1, 2019 - Sept. 30, 2020? It is comprised of 19 Governmental Funds and one Proprietary Fund, with the General Fund being the city’s primary operating fund and accounting for the majority of its financial resources. As stated in the FY2020 budget: “The General Fund expenses provide services to the City’s population including general government, public safety, highways and streets, sanitation, culture, recreation activities, and economic development. Major sources of revenue for the General Fund include property taxes, sales and use taxes, lodging tax, utility tax equivalents and charges for service.”

Revenues and transfers for FY2020 are budgeted at $51,048,136. Sales tax revenue has been budgeted at $27,300,000, estimating in six major retailers and a grocer that opened during FY2019 plus a 3.8% growth rate. Lodging tax is budgeted flat, while gas tax revenue will see a decreased budget from FY2019.

The General Fund totals $47,369,164, with the largest portion being personnel costs at $23,358,477. A total of $3,923,500 health-related benefit costs are included in the personnel costs, as well as the addition of six full-time and three part-time employee positions for FY2020.

Capital equipment has been budgeted at $2,397,802, which is an increase from FY2019, and includes $1,015,995 in fleet additions. Also included is $470,000 budgeted for future road construction equipment which is estimated to save approximately $1.5 million in future road construction costs, and $250,000 for an automated garbage truck to be used to service increasing residential sanitation needs. Speaking of road projects, a total of $8,749,582 has been budgeted for capital projects and resurfacing costs, and are offset by funding through grants and mutual aid agreements.

Major projects for FY2020 include: resurfacing and street repairs, Fern Avenue extension, West Pride Drive safety improvements, South Juniper Street extension, Foley Beach Express intersection improvements, sidewalks along 9th Avenue extension, Bon Secour water quality - land purchase, and airport ramp taxiway rehab. The total for these projects is $6,925,619, while the city anticipates receiving approximately $3,611,873 in funding to offset the cost.

For more information on the City of Foley or to view the full budget, check out their website at cityoffoley.org.